joanna irl

4th of July Fun with 4 Second Exposures

I don’t know about you, but I had an outstanding 4th of July this year. Yesterday (during the day) I went with some friends on their 4 person catamaran out on Kaneohe Bay and we sailed for about four hours. It was wonderful to be so close to the water, skimming along the surface almost like we were flying. (No photos because I didn’t want to get the camera wet.)

We beat the rain coming in from the water, and I headed home to shower and change and then go back to a cookout on the Navy base with some other friends. We had the traditional fare– hotdogs and burgers, corn on the cob and baked beans, watermelon and potato salad– and then walked down to the big field where the base was hosting it’s huge 4th of July celebration.

Plain White T's

The field was full of people selling fair foods (I bought kettle corn!) and rides and bouncy houses for the kids, and earlier in the day there had been a petting zoo, pony rides, a classic car show, and other things, but the main attraction was the amphitheater they erected on one end of the field. At 8 o’clock, they brought out the main act– the Plain White T’s. I heard the start of the concert (which sounded pretty good) but we had a bunch of kids with our group so we wandered back to the place where we’d had the cookout.

Fireworks view 2011

At nine o’clock, the fireworks started and we had an amazing view; the people hosting the cookout are a couple that live near my friends, and the husband is a Coast Guard captain with a little boat in Pearl Harbor… so we sat on the bow of the boat and watched as the fireworks went off directly in front of us (though across the harbor). It was a fun show, and this year they had fireworks that even spelled “USA” in red, white, and blue.

USA fireworks

I got home around 10:30, exhausted but happy. All in all, it was a good 4th of July. I also realized it’s one of my favorite holidays because of all the tradition and patriotism and history associated with it. Sometimes it’s nice to just be proud of our country and have some corn on the cob and watermelon. ^_^

The title of this entry refers to the fact that I wound up using a 4 second exposure to capture a lot of the fireworks, though there are several photos with shorter exposure. If you want to see more of them, click here or the “Read More” button. ^_^

Continue reading “4th of July Fun with 4 Second Exposures”

joanna irl

Kauai, much delayed

I suppose I owe you a blog entry. Since, you know, July is 3/4 over and I haven’t written one iota.

Well, that’s not quite true. I did caption the photos over at my photo journal… but I didn’t even add a little blurb over there when I uploaded new photos today. Shame on me.

The month started off well enough, with celebrating Year Four. Actually we celebrated a little early as J was gone over our real anniversary, but that was okay. We saw fireworks on the 4th (isn’t it awesome that they always give us fireworks for our anniversary? We’re just that special, I guess. ^_^) and then my folks got to Hawaii on the 7th and I flew to Kauai with them.

That’s the Na Pali coast. Parts of Kauai look a lot like Oahu, but most of it is very rural and open and beautiful. We stayed at a beautiful resort, and went swimming every day (well, my brother and I did), and did a good bit of sight-seeing.

One day we went to the north shore of Kauai, which is completely different than Oahu’s north shore; it’s rocky and steep and the road winds along the side of the mountains (and off of the mountains in places) and has nothing but tiny little towns you drive through in about a minute. It also has a lighthouse that’s surrounded by a wildlife refuge with a huge amount of birds, including wedge-tailed shearwaters that burrow into the ground to nest.

Another day we drove Waimea Canyon, which is down the middle of the island and looks a good bit like a smaller version of the Grand Canyon. The road winds back and forth as you go further up into the mountains and then you get to some sharp overlooks and then you see the red layers of the volcanic dirt, full of iron and left by ancient lava flows. If you keep going all the way to the top and back of the Canyon, you eventually get to where the red turns to green and you see the view I first posted of the Na Pali coast. It’s the only way to see that view without taking a boat or a helicopter, or doing a seriously hardcore hike.

We also toured both a coffee plantation and an organic chocolate farm. At the coffee plantation we got to sample about 15 different types of coffee, and at the chocolate farm we got to try whatever was fresh picked off the tree, including a young coconut, a tropical lemon, lychee, and cocoa pulp off of the chocolate seeds. Then we tried several types of chocolate made on the farm, including some traditional chocolate like the Aztecs ate and a chocolate drink made with coconut water and spices. It was so good!

Once back on Oahu, I took my folks to visit the north shore here, drove them around to the Blowhole, and to the Arizona Memorial. We also went on the Atlantis Submarine tour, which was a lot of fun, and I took them to a concert at the zoo to hear ‘ukelele music. They went home about a week ago now.

So there’s your update. I’m going to try and be better about updating the rest of the month, and I’m thinking about taking the BEDA challenge– Blog Every Day in August. We’ll see if I’m up for it. And in the meantime, check out photos from the Kauai trip. ^_^